Are you finding your Denver home just doesn’t feel comfortable temperature-wise in the winter? Is your family constantly complaining about being too cold? If this sounds familiar, you might not be using your system effectively. If you’ve noticed the words “aux heat” on your digital thermostat, this might help with your thermostat settings. This heat pump feature stands for auxiliary heat.
The reason your thermostat has aux heat is that it indicates when gas or electric power has been triggered to help your heat pump reach a warm enough temperature when the weather outside is extremely cold. Unlike emergency heat settings which are run if your heat pump breaks, aux heat only kicks in when your heat pump can’t reach targeted settings and then turns off once the temperature is comfortable. It keeps your entire system running more efficiently while compensating when the heat pump just can’t provide enough heat quickly.
So, what is aux heat on my thermostat and how do I use it?
As mentioned above, your aux heat indicator turns on when your heat pump can’t reach the ideal temperature setting. Aux heat offers some help for your heat pump. While it comes from the same source as emergency heat, it actually is designed to support your heat pump to become more efficient as opposed to taking over completely. So it doesn’t cost as much to run as your emergency heat.
Basically, when your heat pump detects it can’t heat up to reach the ideal temperature, it automatically energizes the aux “heat strip”. The heat strip is located inside your secondary heating source and helps your system reach warmer temperatures quickly. It’s like a boost to your heat pump.
The need for that boost of auxiliary heat is determined by your thermostat. Your thermostat monitors any drop in temperature inside your home, and typically when they drop below your set temperature by 1.5-2 degrees your thermostat knows it’s time for your auxiliary heat to kick in. You know your aux heat is on when the aux heat indicator is on. Once your home reaches the ideal temperature, it will turn off the aux heat.
If you aren’t sure if everything is set and working to keep your home comfortable in cold temperatures, you aren’t alone. Many people are unaware they even have an aux indicator. However, the first thing to know is that air exchange and geothermal heat pumps don’t remain efficient when the temperatures outside see extreme drops. Heat pumps often can’t work as hard as they should to counteract that outdoor cold and often struggle to maintain ideal temperatures once they reach the temperature setting.
When this happens, you might be wasting money, because your aux heat keeps having to run. So, in order to keep your heat running efficiently, you should use these heat pump thermostat tips:
While your aux heat provides added comfort for your home in the cold of winter, whenever you find your home is constantly too hot or too cold, there is something not working with your heating system. In this case, you really should reach out to your local heating and cooling experts to have them come in and find out if you need repairs, or even a system replacement.
This is where we come in. As your Denver home comfort experts, we can ensure your home remains comfortable all year round. We can help reduce energy waste and keep everyone happy. Give us a call at Bell Plumbing and Heating today!